Vegetative Screens for Meat Chicken Farms

FSA Consulting

  • Project code: PRJ-007208

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

  • Project completion date: Monday, June 25, 2012

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 1-Improving environmental sustainability outcomes


Vegetation can be used to reduce dust and odour impacts on neighbours, and improve the visual appeal of meat chicken farms. Vegetative screens (sometimes referred to as vegetative environmental buffers, VEBs) have been planted on numerous meat chicken farms in the United States, especially in regions where there has been a coordinated effort to establish them and promote their benefits. Research efforts and on-the-ground experience indicate that planting vegetative screens is beneficial for improving environmental performance and neighbour relations.

This project will collate existing knowledge on the use of vegetation to reduce odour, dust and amenity impacts from meat chicken farms and produce a guide to assist producers and landscaping contractors to establish vegetative buffers with the greatest likelihood of success. Australian grass, shrub and tree species will be identified to assist with plant selection. In addition to plant selection, the success of vegetative screens to reduce odour and dust impacts will be strongly influenced by interactions with local topographical features and climatic conditions. These interactions will be specifically investigated.

The output of this project will be a guideline for chicken meat farms on the use of vegetative screens for odour and dust control and visual amenity. The contents of the guidelines will be based on published research findings and the experiences of chicken producers, extension engineers and landscaping contractors who design, plant and manage vegetative screens.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

FSA Consulting

Objective Summary

The primary objective of this project will be to produce guidelines that will assist Australian meat chicken farmers to use vegetative screens to reduce dust and odour impacts and improve visual amenity. The guidelines, where possible, will be based on published scientific literature and reports. The guidelines will also incorporate the most recent design and management information developed over several years of experience, observations and improvements by extension engineers and researchers. Australian plant species will be recommended based on their physical characteristics (i.e. leaf structure, canopy shape, growth rate and physical dimension). Planting layouts and designs will include considerations for local topographical features and climatic conditions that affect odour and dust transport/impacts.

A second objective will be to produced an additional document to inform policy makers and regulators of the science that supports the use of vegetative screens for reducing odour and dust impacts, and improving visual amenity.